Make It Monday 

Are you a smoothie lover? Have you ever made your own smoothies?

I scored big time when I came across a couple Kraft Canada smoothies- I hit the jackpot with the Kraft Peanut Butter Banana smoothie and the Green- Protein smoothie (recipe coming next week). 

The recipe that I pinned says it’s vegetarian and gluten free, for those that prefer a cleaner food choice.

My kids LOVE this smoothie- it has chocolate milk in it (I make my own using 1% milk and chocolate syrup. That way I can control/monitor how rich it is); that’s their first favorite food. Their second favorite food is bananas. I really enjoy it too! The chocolate flavor appeals to my sweet tooth but the bananas in it packs a bunch of healthy nutrients and a nice balance to the sweetness of the chocolate. 

SO tasty– especially in my little Coca-Cola glass! 

Perfect for a snack or for breakfast, I highly recommend trying this smoothie- it tastes good with strawberries in it, too! 

Try it, I dare you!

Scrapbook Labels Idea

Good morning, friends!

I came across this idea a few weeks ago on Pinterest, and I’m so excited about it, I had to share it with the rest of you!

I’ve been looking for a way to mark the dates on my scrapbooks albums that correspond to the dates on the pages inside the album. Nothing really jumped out at me until I saw these adorable little tags hanging over the spine of the albums on Pinterest.  

Hello! Why have I not thought of this before?! It’s so simple! I used my Dymo label maker to create the dates, then adhered it to the centre of the tag. I hung the tag over the top rung in my d-ring scrapbook albums, ensuring the tag was visible along the spine of my albums. 

There’s my duh moment of the month, lol. I bought the labels at Walmart. 

How do you label your scrapbook albums? Do you include dates on your layouts?  

Make it Monday

Today, I thought I’d share a healthier alternative to snack on than last weeks’ recipe.

Over the last year, we have been working on improving our diet and daily routine in an effort to improve our health. My husband was diagnosed with a lesion on his pituitary gland in his brain (it’s not serious), but it’s shown us that in addition to HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), eating better and getting more exercise would benefit us. Especially since my husband is overweight and a smoker. He is also pre-diabetic.

Did you know that pre-diabetes is a misnomer? It doesn’t actually mean that you’re on the verge of getting diabetes; you actually have it but it’s in the very earliest stages of the disease. With proper nutrition and exercise, an individual is completely capable of staving off the negative effects of this disease until much later- which is what a diabetic wants to do! (Or should). 

With that in mind, here’s today’s favorite recipe: 

Peanut Butter Apple Dip

(Link at the end of this post- it’ll take you directly to my Pinterest pin).

This dip is just three ingredients, and it’s  so tasty! It got my kids’ seal of approval, too! Make as much or as little as you want- I quadrupled the recipe (I think!! That’s a very broad generalization, lol), and my kids gobbled it all up. I only got a couple slices (I cut up two Gala apples for the three of us to share; I barely got the chance to taste the dip!) It’s healthy, quick and easy to make, and (I think) the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or serve at a party. Your guests will love it, too!

You will need:

Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Peanut Butter  (natural or whichever your favorite is)

Honey

Sound like something you want to try?

Here’s the recipe, which I saved from Something Swanky on Pinterest. Follow the link for the directions, or if it’s easier, I’ll include them below for you:

1 TBSP Peanut Butter 

1 TBSP Greek Yogurt

1/2 TBSP Honey

Mix together, and serve!

Make it Monday 

Hi everyone!

One of my favorite places to turn to when I’m looking for inspiration in the kitchen is Kraft Canada. Their recipes are quick to make, easy to throw together and taste delicious. 

Another favorite tool for finding inspiration is most everyone’s favorite online tool as well- Pinterest. I have sooo many recipes pinned, I may as well try them out. 

Today’s recipe comes from Pinterest. Sorry, I’m not real glamorous and I won’t wow you with recipes I created myself. This will just be a real simple post with real simple recipes I’ve found, tried and want to share with you. I hope you understand- and enjoy!

Late last week, I felt inspired to do some baking, but I didn’t want to bake cookies. Boring. I wanted to bake something else, but didn’t have the ingredients for any of the recipes I thought looked great- until I came across Cinnamon Sour Cream Loaf (link at the end of this post). The original recipe was saved from Inspired by Charm by Michael Wurm Jr. 

Oh yum. And sour cream? I just happened to have a lot of it!

Before throwing it in the oven.

After baking for an hour. 

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!

The only thing I’d do different the next time I bake this is bake it at a slightly lower temperature for a little longer (or just slightly less at the recommended temperature). It came out quite well done, though the centre was somewhat moist. Overall, it was very tasty, and it got the seal of approval from both my kids and my dear friends’ eldest daughter. (Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed it, too!)

Now for the best part- the recipe! (Clicking the link will take you directly to the recipe).

Cinnamon Sour Cream Loaf
If you try this recipe, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

River Rock Memory Keeping

Good morning!

Ever come across an idea that was meant for one thing, but you made it work for your own purposes?

I was surfing Pinterest one day, and pinned an idea that I thought would be a neat tradition to adopt when we go camping.

It turns out, the original pin was meant as a wedding idea.

Oops!

I still adopted it. And, I still think it’s cool.

You know how some people bottle sand when they go to exotic places or on destination vacations? They keep it as not only a souvenir, but a tangible reminder of the beauty of the place they visited- and probably never will again.

All that soft, beautiful sand, layered on top of each other, in a beautiful vase, proudly displayed on a coffee table or mantel, somewhere in your house…sounds really great, doesn’t it?

The tradition I’ve adapted into our humble life is similar, but doesn’t include sand. Instead, it requires a Sharpie, vase and rocks. As in river stones.

Check it out!

So, what started as a wedding idea:

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…turned into a camping idea!

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Whatever campground we visit, we search for a rock large enough to record the name of the campground and the date. I keep a Sharpie and a vase under the seat at the table in our trailer, so that it’s easy to reach. Once it’s full, I’ll bring it into the house as a visual reminder of the places we’ve been and the memories we made while there. Then I’ll start on another.

In some ways, it’s another type of scrapbook. Even though I took pictures, and I’ll eventually scrapbook them, I can start the process of memory keeping even before we leave the campground. It’s memory keeping in its most primitive form.

It looks rustic and beautiful, doesn’t it? I really kind of like this idea!

(There’s only two rocks in our vase because this is only the second time we’ve been camping since buying this trailer! Our first time was September long weekend last year, and it was rainy and chilly! We ixnayed camping the rest of the year after that…this year, we could hardly wait to go!)

Pinterest Hacks

If you’re anything like me, even just looking at Pinterest makes me fat. I don’t have to just eat food to achieve that. There are so many great recipes for food, home renos, DIY, art,  photography, clothing, crafting, and the list goes on and on. I thought I’d share a few craft storage ideas with you- that were either free or inexpensive– that I’ve implemented into my own haven and crafting space. We all like things to be easy and cheap or free, right? It’s ok,  your secret is safe with me. I know I like looking for bargains too. We’re all the same, really, except for a few subtle differences here and there. ..
All the ideas I’m about to share with you, I found on Pinterest first. You can find me on Pinterest Here.

Note: in each picture I’m about to share, what inspired me is in the left photo of the collage, and my hack is on the right. This does not include the Close to My Heart options at the end of this post.

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I have way too many stamps to store in an adorable fruit stand like this (and I’ve also got another way to store my stamps!!), so instead, I use my fruit stand for storing all of my washi tape. Right now, it only fills the top basket, but one day it might fill the whole thing. In the mean time, I’m trying to figure out what to store in the other two baskets. Any suggestions? Currently, the little bit of twine that I own occupies the second basket. The bottom one is empty. (I know. An empty anything in a crafters’ room?! Traitor!) The fruit stand cost me zippo. It was a Christmas gift from my MIL back in 2011. There’s no place to put it in my kitchen, so after it lived in the inlaws suite for a while, doing nothing other than wasting space and collecting dust, I moved it into my haven to be useful. And, it hasn’t let me down. Except when my rolls of washi fall through the cracks. I really need to remedy that!

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Can anyone make me an adorable little fabric box like this?! (The left picture). I love my current system, but it isn’t pretty enough. This current system (hanging file folder system from Walmart. It cost me $10) works great, but is slightly flawed. The small pieces of scrap paper (any sort of irregularly shaped scraps and anything that’s smaller than 8×8 gets lost. Very easily. I’d love to find a system that groups like sizes together and doesn’t take up too much room. It also must be easy to see what’s inside. And, of course, it needs to be affordable. 
I have my scraps sorted by color, and it follows the rainbow spectrum of colors (starting with pink and ending with grey/black). I have a second hanging file system paired with this one for my most favorite manufacturers (it includes embellishments and papers). Once I thin out (read use up) the stuff I’m not really crazy about, I’ll move my favorite stuff to where the rest of my paper is located.
(Truth be told, I just want my scraps to look as neat and pretty as the picture on the left!!)

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Ok, so seriously,  this is my most favorite Pinterest hack yet. Find tackle boxes at Walmart (for a minimal price), and throw all your miscellaneous alphas in it! It takes up only one drawer in my sterilite storage towers (I have two- both in one drawer; they fit like a glove. Like it was meant to be!) and it can hold a lot of alphas in it!! It’s really a huge bang for your buck.

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I forgot to take a picture of it, but I do have a blister pack (which can be found at any pharmacy) that’s filled with brads. I forgot to take a picture of it because I rarely use brads in my projects. I also don’t have my blister pack labelled all pretty like the one in the picture. It does work really well to corral those small items, though! You’re looking at about $5-$10 (or more) depending on the size of blister pack you purchase.
Instead, I’m sharing a storage option for all those buttons you may have kicking around. For the longest time, I had my buttons stored in jam jars, but I didn’t like the varying sizes they were all in (my OCD is kicking in here). I wasn’t about to shell out the money for anything to store them in, so I left them as is. And then, my husband asked me if I’d have any use for the glass jars that you see in the right photo above. His buddy got these jars for his body shop business, but they weren’t the right size. I sure could find a use for them! Now, all my buttons are in the same size jars and they’re color coded, like my papers! (Cost to me: free!!)

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Lastly, did you know that Close to My Heart has some fabulous storage items, too? They do! You’ll find storage boxes in varying sizes for paper, stamps, sponge daubers, or whatever else you can think of! They’re made from durable plastic and have a simple flip tab to keep the contents safely secured inside. Also, their stamps are strictly acrylic,  and always come in those handy sleeves, keeping your stamps altogether. They fit beautifully inside the storage boxes. (This one is one of the smallest and can store up to 15 stamps inside. Depending on size, they’ll cost you $16.50 to $27.50).

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Looking for a practical and economical way to store your ink? Try CTMH’s Exclusive Inks Organizer (pictured above $76.95), or Exclusive Inks Stamp Tower (not pictured; $13.25). It’s perfect for storing my CTMH Exclusive Inks and journalling pens. It’s worthwhile to note that Stampin’ Up inks do not fit inside the organizer (and likely the tower. I have some SU inks, and they are too thick. This item is made specifically to store your CTMH inks).
There’s more {great!} storage items at Close to My Heart than just this! Visit me here, then click home > shop online > organization to see more!
What are some of your favorite Pinterest hacks? Please share-I’d love to see! Here’s one that was shared to my business page on Facebook:

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I think this is fabulous! Ribbon scraps would work beautifully in these, as would beads, glitter, flocking or other powders. What else could you use in here?
Share your hacks in the comments! We could always use some inspiration!